Atlanta's traffic problems are inhibiting economic recovery and our future economic growth. Traffic congestion has become the major "quality of life" issue that deters businesses from locating and expanding in Atlanta. We need fresh approaches and a comprehensive plan that embraces alternatives to our usual "solution" which has been to pour more concrete and add more lanes.
For too long, transportation solutions have been held hostage by politics and cronyism. It is time to put all that behind us and focus on the real goals: to decrease congestion, safeguard our environment, improve our quality of life, and increase our economic competitiveness.
We need to get more Georgians out of their cars to get them where they need to go. To do that, we must:
- Think smartly when planning our communities.
- Expand the reach of MARTA and improve its accessibility.
- Support innovative use of light rail, bus rapid transit, street cars and other technologies to reduce automobile dependence
- Promote passenger rail options for intra-city travel
- Pursue development of a high-speed rail network connecting Georgia's urban centers with those in neighboring states.
Projects like the Atlanta Beltline demonstrate that transportation alternatives can power long-term job growth and economic development. Integrated transportation networks which include bike paths, walkways, rail and roads create livable, desirable communities. Georgia has only just begun to modernize its transportation system. It is time we get serious about transforming our transportation infrastructure in order to create the backbone of a healthy, prosperous and sustainable 21st century economy.